Among the many rumors surrounding Apple (news, site), one of the most persistent has been its move onto big screens. Well, that could be happening soon, providing a new surface for Apple's media empire and your data and apps.
Apples Heading Everywhere
Apple's resurgence started with a fairly small screen on the original iPod, but with its push into smartphones, tablets and the ever higher-quality screens on its desktop products, all things point to a future where Apple will soon have a branded TV set in the liviing room. And another round of rumors and comments suggest the inevitable is about to happen.
Not only will this give the company more leverage in its content dealings with TV and movie studios, but it positions it neatly in the upcoming upheaval between cable/satellite and IPTV program broadcasters. Buyers will benefit from the web and their social media available in the living room, plus a world of content, and the prospect of much more.
Sure, there isn't much money to be made in the TV market itself, with cutthroat margins and ridiculous refresh times, but Apple will be looking at content and content distribution as the greater source of revenue.
Others in the computer field have tried -- both Dell and Gateway have sold consumer technology -- but expect Apple to tie up all the content, app and technology ends to offer something that, while not totally different (Samsung and others do app stores and IPTV services on their HD sets), will be a more refined experience.
Could Apple Join Console Gaming by Stealth?
What could Apple offer in that respect? Well, the most direct feature would be a live tie-in to your iCloud service, matching what you have on your iPhone or iPad. Then there's the existing Apple TV service that Apple has been almost reluctantly updating, presumably keeping the magic new version back for any future announcement.
Aside from the content and apps that would run on the set, Apple can also then break into big-screen gaming (via suitable processors in the set, or by turning the iPad into a console). Add in a Bluetooth game controller and a suitably appealing lineup of games, and you have Apple wading into the console gaming market the easy way with a 20-million plus installed base.
There have been enough game studios closed and enough developers laid off over the last few years for several new studios to be developing games in stealth mode for Apple, which could come as a breath of fresh air to the sequel-heavy PlayStation/Xbox offerings.
Would It Sell?
Apple already has its own shiny stores from which to sell these new TVs, so it needn't worry too much about pushing into the insanely competitive white-goods stores where 100s of near-identical screens leer out at buyers.
With the sizeable army of Apple diehards who will happily buy Apple-branded goods, success -- while not guaranteed -- will come a lot easier than to the incumbents who are trying to sell technology to television buyers, whereas Apple will come from the other end, selling TVs to technology buyers.